The gallery of Ofuq 1 (Horizon 1) in Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Giza, Cairo, is currently hosting the exhibition “Yakishime: Earth Metamorphosis”, which runs till 22 August. The exhibition, a grand travelling Japanese exhibition, is organised by the Japan Foundation’s Cairo Office; and
was opened by Japan’s Ambassador to Cairo Masaki Noke, Director of the Japan Foundation Cairo Office Yo Fukazawa, and Head of the Fine Arts Sector at Egypt’s Culture Ministry Khaled Sorour.
Yakishime, firing unglazed wares at high temperatures, is one of the most basic means to produce ceramics. In Japan, the tradition embodied in these primordial wares continues unbroken from the 4th and 5th centuries to this day. Among other places, it is produced in pottery centres such as Bizen, Tokoname, Shigaraki.
The exhibition “Yakishime: Earth Metamorphosis” focuses on Yakishime wares as part of Japan’s traditional culture, and presents their history from the earliest examples to present-day samples of tea vessels, food vessels, and objets d’art. Some of the exhibits are on loan from the Tokyo and Kyoto National Museums, dating from the 5th and 6th centuries AD, through medieval times, and up to the present. The aim is to provide an opportunity to relay this distinctively Japanese artistic and aesthetic tradition to non-Japanese people.
According to Mr Fukazawa, the Japan Foundation annually organises travelling exhibitions that tour outside Japan. These travelling exhibitions display Japanese collections that cover a wide range of fields, including crafts, painting, photography, architecture, and design. “In ‘Yakishime: Earth Metamorphosis’,“ Mr Fukazawa said, “we present two types of functional Yakishime wares: utensils used in the tea ceremony (Chanoyu), a major influence on the development of Japanese traditional culture, and tableware that have become an essential part of everyday life, in addition to objets d’art created by contemporary ceramic artists working in Yakishime”.
4 August 2019